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      01-11-2009, 05:28 AM   #1
TWiTCHY
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Monopods

I've only used a Dynex $30 Monopod once at a car show and they seem quite useful as an alternative to tripods when you need to be on the move, or the event you've attended doesn't allow the use of one.

I will be going to Whistler with my family to take pictures and I can pretty much take everything that I have for my camera with me. I'm beginning to get serious with making my pictures as sharp as possible, and one of the best ways to do that is with something to support the camera, reducing vibrations.

A monopod would be a great alternative to a tripod because they're much lighter, easily and quickly collapses, and can double as a walking/hiking stick when you're climbing a hill

The problem is, to my understanding at least, is that all monopods function pretty much the same way, and do their jobs just as well, equally.


I ran into a $100 Velbon Carbon Fiber monopod at Best Buys and decided to pull it out of its box. It extends to the same height, provides the same stability, and same function as a $30 Dynex monopod. What gives? It's certainly lighter, but given that it's $70 more for a few less ounces, is it really worth the extra money?
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      01-11-2009, 07:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
I've only used a Dynex $30 Monopod once at a car show and they seem quite useful as an alternative to tripods when you need to be on the move, or the event you've attended doesn't allow the use of one.

I will be going to Whistler with my family to take pictures and I can pretty much take everything that I have for my camera with me. I'm beginning to get serious with making my pictures as sharp as possible, and one of the best ways to do that is with something to support the camera, reducing vibrations.

A monopod would be a great alternative to a tripod because they're much lighter, easily and quickly collapses, and can double as a walking/hiking stick when you're climbing a hill

The problem is, to my understanding at least, is that all monopods function pretty much the same way, and do their jobs just as well, equally.


I ran into a $100 Velbon Carbon Fiber monopod at Best Buys and decided to pull it out of its box. It extends to the same height, provides the same stability, and same function as a $30 Dynex monopod. What gives? It's certainly lighter, but given that it's $70 more for a few less ounces, is it really worth the extra money?
Just ready an article in one of my Photo mags which ad a Monopod review (6 or 8 'pods'), I;ll dig it and out and see what they said you need to look for.

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      01-11-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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Difference in price reflects on material used mainly to be honest. Also the type of head. Some monopods will give you the option of using ballheads.

In all honesty, if you can maintain a shutter speed of 1/focal length of your lens(or faster), should eliminate any major shakes.

What you need to remember is NO support aid in the world will stop people from moving about in photos so think about other ways to keep shutter speeds up which increases sharpness. Stopping a lens also does so.

Simply using a tripod/monopod will not do the trick. Just some tips there.
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      01-11-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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It's much better than hand-holding the camera in the bitter-cold

And I keep hearing about that tip, to keep the denominator of the shutter speed equal to or greater to the focal length of your lens. What if it's a zoom lens? Like a 55-200mm. If you were at 55mm, would it be 1/55+?
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      01-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #5
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^ you got it- if it's 55 then you should do 1/55+ and so on. To get sharp pictures you would also need a good lens.
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      01-11-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
It's much better than hand-holding the camera in the bitter-cold

And I keep hearing about that tip, to keep the denominator of the shutter speed equal to or greater to the focal length of your lens. What if it's a zoom lens? Like a 55-200mm. If you were at 55mm, would it be 1/55+?
That is correct. At 200mm you might need to et faster than 1/200. As your focal length increases, so does the need for a fast shutter speed. Ideally usuing a focal length of anything longer than 300mm ii would go 1.5x over if I can unless you can practice.

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^ you got it- if it's 55 then you should do 1/55+ and so on. To get sharp pictures you would also need a good lens.
Myth. You can take any lens and get a nice high end picture providing its in working order and free from defects and you assume there is no user error. There is no lens out there which I have not used which has given me a bad picture. It all boils down to practice.

Any lens in my bag has been bought without trying first and all sharp. Im sure if you gave me any kit, I could show it the same accuracy.
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      01-13-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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I've been using a carbon fiber Manfrotto mono-pod for about two years and love it. Combine it with IS and you can "hand-hold" down to like 1/10-second. My camera has very low noise up to ISO 6400, so the combination of IS, the m-pod and high ISO really opens up a huge range of possibilities in evening and morning light or indoors.

I use the m-pod for scenics and telephoto, up to my 400 mm limit. Once again, the extra degree of steadyness brings my fhi-def, full frame picture quality up a knotch or two. When I blow them up on the 1080p Sony they look great even very close to the screen.

It's not as steady as my tripod, BUT it's way more convenient to carry and it'll fit in my roller bag for trips. I only use the tripod for long exposures, some macro and making Ebay photographs.

Dave
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      01-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
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So Manfrotto or Velbon?

EDIT: Nevermind. The Manfrotto is $75 more
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      01-13-2009, 08:02 PM   #9
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I have a Manfrotto mono-pod that came with my Kata backpack, I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet because I left it back in my apt in NY. But from my understanding the carbon would be better since its lighter if you are carrying a load of stuff.. but if its just the camera, lens and monopod, it shouldn't be to hard to carry those. Have you tried looking into a carbon tri-pod? If you can get your hands on a good one, it won't be much heavier than your monopod and certainly will be better.
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      01-14-2009, 01:02 AM   #10
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Yes, I've looked into them but they are way too expensive and I use them rarely. It wouldn't be worth it. A $30 Dynex might have to do.
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